1st year FLDP - thinking about quitting the program. Help please.

Hi everyone,

Just as the title states, I'm thinking about quitting the program soon.

A little about myself:
I graduated from a non-target university with a average GPA with a degree in Finance. Like a lot of fellow students, i didn't really know what i wanted to do with my life. By the time i learnt about Investment Banking, I was already a senior. It's bad enough that i didn't know what i want to do with my future, i didn't even know what my passion is. As a result, i took couple of corporate finance internship & co-ops just for the sake of "doing something" and because i wanted other to believe that I am a high achiever in whatever i do. Beginning of my senior year, a friend of mine had told me about the FLDP. He mentioned all the great perks about the program like network, corporate fast track, B-school etc etc...... so i thought to myself "Hey! I already got couple of corporate experiences, and i missed out on IB, so the next best thing is FLDP... why not!!" Long story short, went on couple of interviews, and secured a FLDP offer from a FT500 manufacturing company. This is a 3 year program with a nice relocation bonus.

Why i'm thinking about quitting:
I am currently one year into the program. I am currently located in a very small town in the middle of nowhere in the U.S (think midwest).The population of this place is about 15-20k. I am not an antisocial person, let me tell you, it is very hard to meet people outside of work - especially if you're a minority like me. This is also an internal problem. I had co-workers and shop floor employees giving me weird looks all the time. In fact, in the past 3 months, about 5 people quit the program. Of the 5, 3 of which are minorities. Keep in mind, my experience is primary in manufacturing, it could be different in other industries.

This is not a Finance leadership Development Program, in fact it should be re-named to a controller or accounting leadership development program. There is zero Finance here. Treasury department exist, but is very limited. Again, keep in mind this experience is mainly for manufacturing. You will need to master accounting in order to be a top performer. The expectation is that you will be a controller and nothing else when you graduate from the program. I didn't sign up for this.

Right now, i feel like i am stuck..... I just finished the first year of the program. However, i won't be rotating to my next location until June since i started in Feb - so i have 5 more months to go.
But i hate my job so much. I hate living in the middle of no where and not have any friends. I think the job i'm doing is worthless and boring. My accounting supervisor knows that i don't like accounting. She already told me that i am under performing and that I show no motivation at all. I feel like i will be "let go" if this continues. I have no motivation at work, i just barely do enough to finish my work, but will never go over and beyond. And right now, i don't really know what I can do next. I like investing and picking up stocks, I thought about portfolio management or even IB again. But i think it's too late for that.

Monkeys..... what should i do?.... I honestly just want to go into my work one day and be like F*** u all, and just leave. This program has nothing to offer for me. Location, people, future career progression.

Sorry for the long rant, but a lot has happened since the program started.

Comments (21)

Jan 21, 2015 - 12:03pm

If you don't like the program or location then there really isn't too much keeping you there. I would definitely make sure you do finish the first full year and also get an idea of your next rotational role (especially location since that seems important to you) that may sway your immediate decision.

Being 1 year out of school this doesn't have to be the end all of jobs for you. Since graduating engineering school I've been an engineer, consultant, back to bschool, business development in a start-up, private equity associate, project manager, etc. Believe me you will have plenty of opportunities to change your role over the course of your career.

All that being said, get your resume together and start applying to other jobs, but don't quit. Can't hurt and if you find something else you find as a better fit then your out. If not you still have a job at least and not everyone with little experience can say that. Good luck.

Jan 21, 2015 - 12:06pm

Also, spend your time on something productive that will benefit you later in your career. Study for the GMAT or CFA. If you ace the GMAT start putting together applications (many people go to bschool with just 2 years exp). Learn another language, might help you get an international assignment down the line.

Jan 21, 2015 - 12:22pm

You are arguably the most pathetic person I know.

You don't even have any idea how much people needed to do to get their jobs on Wall Street from non-targets and ethnic backgrounds, includnig me. I feel nothing for your misery (I've been there and fought through it).

My advice for you: work insanely hard. Make it your life to learn about the sector you are in and how everything works (beyond your day to day job) and if you are worthy/clever enough to go into that sector group at a bank or trade stocks in the sector based on how you see the market, you will make it into banking.. but from the sounds of it, you dont belong in banking or portfolio management, you will work 100x harder than where you are now and since you were an average student in college you will most likely post something like this post again but in banking means.

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Best Response
Feb 5, 2015 - 3:18pm

khara 3alekon:

You are arguably the most pathetic person I know.

Preach. This kid seems like an entitled brat who wanted a corporate strategy/dev role right out of school and is pissed he didn't look into the program he chose. If you really cared you would be learning the industry as much as you can and networking like crazy to land a MUCH better position in finance. You're holding yourself back not the program. If you were really as great as you think you are, Directors would LOVE to hire you into whatever position you want. You got to want it. And stop the racism crap I'm a minority in a fortune 50 company where all the execs and my coworkers are all white--- no one cares about your skin tone just your work ethic.

Jan 21, 2015 - 5:01pm

Here's what I read: you got into a pretty decent rotational program from a sub par school. You "learnt" too late you really wanted to do IB and have since become uninterested with your current job. To me you sound like a spoiled millennial who doesn't want to do the work. How are you going to deal with 100+ hours a week? More importantly, how will you be able to convince IB recruiters you can handle it?

I'm not flaming you but just wanted to give you some perspective. My advice would be to double down on your efforts, knock it out of the park, make the best of your time in rural America and like others have said: actually learn something. Furthermore, when opportunities aren't there you need to create them so talk to your program manager and network your way to different roles. In the meantime study for the GMAT, workout, hang with coworkers - be productive. Your attitude is what is limiting you, not your race.

Jan 25, 2015 - 10:18am

Please remind me not to recommend you for any position at my company. Even in the best job, there are going to be things that are complete dumb and you will hate. You giving zero effort tells me in the long haul you don't have what it takes. If you get fired, good luck trying to explain to any recruiter that you were "under-qualified".

Jan 25, 2015 - 7:09pm

Not sure why everyone is hating on you. If you don't like it, then you don't like it. I would wait until the second rotation to see if it gets any better. 5 months isn't that long, so if that doesn't workout, I'd look to lateral to a different company. I know what you mean by living in a small town and it is not for everybody. If you want to change job functions, especially to IB, start getting your profile optimized for b-school.

FYI, in my company, some finance departments are extremely chill (mine comes to mind) while others are really strategy driven (so go getters would like it more, but it also means it is more cut throat).

Jan 27, 2015 - 3:29pm

1) It's your fault for not doing the proper amount of due diligence. Almost all FLDPs are primarily accounting work, though if you're a high performer and the opportunities are there, you could potentially sneak your way into all finance-related functions.

2) I'm assuming it is 3, 1 year rotations. If so I'd see what your next opportunity is before dropping out. If you want more specific advice, PM me the exact program name. I may have more info on it for you.

3) You said 3/5 people that quit are minorities getting treated like shit, just like you. Why weren't you guys hanging out together? Who gives a shit if the rest of the town hates you, as long as you have someone to commiserate with. I'm sure you can find some sort of social circle if you make an effort. It might not be the ideal situation, but there's ways to make it work. Note that this is also a great way to form a strong bond with someone you may be working with for year, if not decades.

4) Making a horizontal career move will be difficult with less than one year of experience. Making a move after you have one year of experience into a finance function will be difficult because you have accounting experience. You can wait to do a top MBA in 3-5 years, or consider...

5) Look into top MSF programs. It sounds like you're interested in finance jobs. Well for most finance jobs it helps to have some pedigree. There are some programs out there that accept people with experience and others that accept people with less than 1 year of experience. Get on applying like right now. @"TNA" might be able to offer some programs to check out. Some that I can think (though not sure if you meet the criteria) include: UVA, MIT, Princeton, Tulane, Claremont McKenna, Columbia, Duke. Here's a more full list here: http://msfhq.com/masters-in-finance-programs/

Just whatever you do, make sure you do some damn good due diligence from here on out. You fucked up by accepting a job without understanding what it fully entailed, now you better be sure what you do next is what you really *want* to do. Example: If you want to get into energy banking, you might check out Tulane and UT-Austin's MSF programs. If you do, make sure they actually get recruited by banks for their energy divisions.

Good luck.

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer "Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee
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Feb 2, 2015 - 7:57am

Sometimes jobs suck, sounds like yours is one that does. I'd reach out to alumni and start thinking about my next move. If you are learning in this role and it sounds like you may be, be like a sponge try and soak up everything. Accounting is not sexy, but it's important. You may find your next rotation is better, so try and stick it out and work hard. Being well regarded can mean better options in the long run. Try and get a more finance focused rotation, I'd be shocked if FP&A wasn't an option,

Feb 14, 2015 - 6:49pm

I have friends in all sorts of careers, even the ones that are considered "prestigious" (everything from elite IB, MBB consulting, blue-chip tech engineering, etc.) and of course what I consider to be "solid" jobs (i.e. corp fin at a F500, big 4 audit, etc.). From these discussions, what I've learned is that EVERY job sucks at the entry-level. It's just the nature of the beast and something we're not accustomed to since we just got of school learning all this high-level course-work, being graded on cases where we are managers making life-or-death decisions for a company, etc. We think we know it all because hell, we read/learned about this already, right? Wrong.

Some of the things you're experiencing are just part of anyone's life as a new professional. I can't comment on your situation of racism, but most RCGs have trouble meeting new people outside of a few co-workers and finding excitement in the mundane stuff higher-ups pass down to us.

Therefore, I would say the following. The first is realize that you are in an position that many people who come from a non-target with average stats would want. Quitting now isn't going to look good to employers or the IB jobs you covet. IB isn't some picnic and you'll be forced to deal with overbearing bosses and working 90 hour weeks, often formatting powerpoints or doing glorified data-entry (as my friends have said they do). If they see you leave after not even finishing 1 rotation, they're going to question if you'll be able to handle the banking grind.

Second, realize that it's going to take at least 3-5 years of building trust at any job, no matter how prestigious, before you start getting the more interesting work. Try to focus more on the positives of your work and realize that the grass isn't always greener. I bet that right now, you're probably working way less hours, getting paid a reasonable salary that stretches really far in that small town (you have no idea how many of my banker friends whine about how expensive NYC is even with their salaries), etc. Enjoy these aspects instead of focusing on the annoying parts of your work.

Finally, understand that not showing any motivation will absolutely not get you where you want to be and only burn bridges. I don't know if your program has a mentor or something along those lines, but you can be honest and say that you weren't a fan of this rotation and want something more finance-heavy. If they talk to your manager, and he or she complains about the quality of your work, they're absolutely not going to care about getting you in a spot that 's more aligned with your interests.

Nov 15, 2017 - 9:23am

Goddamn you are whinny. I think the problem will work itself out, because you can't perform satisfactory according to your manager.

Let's say you nut up and quit, I would bet you have nothing worthwhile on your resume (this probably the best), you have an average GPA from a non-target probably a no name school outside the top 50. That isn't going to field many offers.

26 Broadway where's your sense of humor?
Nov 15, 2017 - 10:32am

While I probably need further information to properly assess your unique situation, it generally reads like you did not necessarily do your due diligence on the position, and ultimately were blindsided after starting. It happens on occasion, but one thing I would caution is that most entry level roles (as mentioned by others above) involve a degree of unglamorous grunt work. This is almost universally the case, whether you are putting together pitch books/financial models, LOI's,, setting up working group lists (;P), doing an audit on a client, or producing endless turns of transaction legal agreements. Someone has to produce the work, and it generally is the most junior professionals at the firm/company. Re: race, I'm not sure how poorly you were treated, but could it be that you are just not open to the role and gave off an otherwise negative vibe that other drew away from? Sometimes one's displeasure with their work environment shows up in their interactions with others or their work product.

On next steps I really think you ought to stay at the company for the duration of the first year. It's very difficult to make anything other than a lateral move (if that) leaving less than a year. You may even find a position or role that suits to your liking. What I've seen from the more reputable FLDP type programs (e.g., J&J, Raytheon, GE) is that they are accounting/FP&A heavy, with some treasury sprinkled in. You have to be mindful that these programs are feeder programs into the corporate finance function rather than into something like IB (though some programs do offer Corp Dev/Strat as a rotation). In principle it's still a fairly lucrative career path that will allow you to make low 6 figures with potential for more if you are good.

Your exits could be quite good depending on how you apply yourself and what mindset you take on. Staying on for 3 years at a reputable FLDP program could definitely allow you to enter into a top 20 MBA program, and subsequently a banking position at the industry you were in pre-MBA if that's what you are looking for. Substantial networking may also allow you to lateral to a boutique IB firm, which you can leverage into a MM firm later on en route to a corp dev opportunity like Sil did. Feeling sorry for yourself and not taking accountability will not get you anywhere, and certainly will not allow you to succeed in banking even if you were able to make the switch in my view.

There's a closer meaning to my user name. Try reading it quickly. Perhaps you will then understand ;P
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Nov 15, 2017 - 4:46pm

Surprised at all the hate and negative comments. OP, I was in your exact position 6 years ago, with the exception that the city I worked in was a "second tier" Midwest City (smaller than Chicago, but not bumblefuck middle of nowhere). Sometimes a position just isn't a good fit. In many cases, these FLDP programs will sell themselves as involving complex financial analysis (interesting work), but the reality is that it's mostly boring accounting grunt work. In my situation, all of the employees I spoke with sold the position as involving mentally stimulating work, but in actuality it was mind-numbing accounting work. In that situation it's very difficult for a new hire straight out of college to decipher what is truth and what isn't, because you simply don't have any experience in the "real world".

Having said that, it's important that you find some way to motivate yourself enough to at least perform adequately, otherwise you're going to get canned. Get your performance up to at least an average level and network as hard as you can on the side to learn more about potential exit opps. Quitting without any plan is not a good option.

Nov 15, 2017 - 4:53pm

OP is correct that most FLDP jobs at F500 and even the mega tech firms are more "financial controllership" than true finance leadership and strategy.

Your race baiting really pisses me off. It's one thing to say that you want to live in a more diverse city due to better social opportunities. It's another to attribute racial malice to your colleagues and supervisors without compelling evidence. So some people gave you mean looks? Have you considered that maybe they're in a bad mood or were just thinking about something unpleasant when you happened to exchange glances with them? And 3 out of 5 people who quit were minorities. So what? Were they actively discriminated? Did they personally tell you that their reasons for quitting were because of race? As a poster above said, there are VERY few areas in today's America where legally sanctioned discrimination exists. And most of the "racism" that people talk about can be explained by other factors, not race.

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